WASHINGTON (1) - America believes Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Safety was instantly concerned in the killing of an Iranian dissident final November in Turkey, a senior administration official informed 1 on Wednesday.
Masoud Molavi Vardanjani was shot useless on an Istanbul road on Nov. 14, 2019. Citing Turkish officers, 1 final week reported that two intelligence officers in Iran’s consulate in Istanbul had instigated his killing.
“Given Iran’s historical past of focused assassinations of Iranian dissidents and the strategies used in Turkey, the USA authorities believes that Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Safety (MOIS) was instantly concerned in Vardanjani’s killing,” a senior administration official informed 1.
America had not beforehand disclosed its evaluation on who may need been behind the incident.
Every week after the killing, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had described it as “one other tragic instance in a protracted string of suspected Iran-backed assassination makes an attempt” of Iranian dissidents. He had not elaborated additional.
Late on Wednesday, Pompeo in a tweet mentioned he discovered disturbing the reviews that Iranian diplomats had been concerned in the killing of the dissident, however that they had been “totally constant” with their assignments.
“Iran’s ‘diplomats’ are brokers of terror and have carried out a number of assassinations and bomb plots in Europe over the previous decade,” Pompeo mentioned.
A police report by the Turkish authorities into the killing, revealed two weeks in the past, mentioned Vardanjani had an “uncommon profile.” It mentioned he had labored in cyber safety at Iran’s Protection Ministry and had grow to be a vocal critic of the Iranian authorities.
Turkish authorities didn't publicly accuse the Iranian authorities of involvement on the time, however the Turkish officers final week informed 1 that Ankara would now elevate Vardanjani’s killing with Iran.
The U.S. evaluation comes amid its “most strain” marketing campaign towards Tehran, by which President Donald Trump goals to power Iran to restrict its missile program and curb its use of proxy forces in Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have remained excessive since Trump in 2018 unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal to restrict Iran’s nuclear program.
In current weeks, the USA has repeatedly tightened sanctions on Iran, regardless of calls from Iranian authorities, the United Nations and China asking it to ease them because the Islamic Republic grew to become the hardest-hit nation in the Center East by the coronavirus pandemic.
Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Modifying by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler